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Eastern Faculty Present at Geoscience Conference

Written by Tim Talley

Blue Bear outside of Convention center.JPG

A giant, environmentally-friendly blue bear, eavesdrops on the presentations in the convention center.

Willimantic, Conn. - Several Eastern Connecticut State University's faculty members presented at the 122nd annual meeting and exhibition of the Geological Society of America (GSA), from Oct. 31- Nov. 3 in Denver, CO. Eastern presenters included Peter Drzewiecki, associate professor of environmental earth science (EES) and secretary of the Limnogeology Division of the GSA; Fred Loxsom, Eastern's endowed chair of sustainable energy studies; Drew Hyatt, chair of the EES Department; and Alevtina Smirnova, assistant professor of environmental earth science. More than 6,000 scientists attended the convention, which covered 156 topics including geochemistry, petrology, volcanology and alternative energy.

            Drzewiecki presented with Hyatt on the data they collected from their research in modern alluvium at the bottom of Providence Canyon State Park in Georgia. Several EES students helped with the research.

            "Through our presentation, we were able to generate substantial interest in our research," said Drzewiecki.  "I was able to discuss ideas and create research collaborations with geologists from Ohio University and the University of Massachusetts for additional research I am conducting on rocks in central Connecticut.  These discussions will drive the direction of my research for the next few years."

            Hyatt presented a poster titled "Utilizing Interdisciplinary First-Year-Program Clusters and Interactive Media to Enhance Field-Based Learning in Connecticut and Georgia." Andy Jones, associate professor of visual arts; Craig Naumec, media production specialist from media services; Lisa Curtiss, multimedia assistant from media services; and Drzewiecki contributed to the presentation.

            "The conference was quite worthwhile both for feedback on the poster, but also because of growing interest in terrestrial laser scanning which we are now using with our students in EES," said Hyatt. "There were also opportunities to discuss media development with Wiley Publishing and to discuss research and program development with colleagues from many institutions."

            Loxsom and Smirnova delivered a presentation on "Energy Education in the Geoscience Classroom: Preparing Future Citizens, Scientists and Policy Makers." With colleagues from other universities, Loxsom also presented workshops on electric vehicles, wind energy and a new course that he and Smirnova developed, called Methane Hydrates.

            The GSA is the nation's premier organization for geologists of all disciplines, and its annual conventions provide a venue for geologists to present their research ideas to others and receive critical feedback. 


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